New Battleground Poll: Yes..Hike Taxes on the Rich

The bottom line of a new Battleground Poll is this: it shows strong support for raising taxes on the rich and will be one more component strengthening the political hand of President Barack Obama on this issue — an issue on which some key Republicans are quite systematically moving towards making it clear that they feel this will happen and that the Republican Party>needs to move on

And it further bolsters Obama’s and the Democrats’ other argument that whatever happens to on the budget cannot wind up brutally impacting poorer and middle class Americans. The bottom line here: it’s an argument that some key entitlements are prerequisites for how American functions and protects its struggling citizens. Republicans can, of course, ignore this and other polls, but this and other polls suggest that there could be future political consequences.

An American appetite for tax hikes gives President Barack Obama leverage in fiscal cliff negotiations.

A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll finds that 60 percent of respondents support raising taxes on households that earn more than $250,000 a year and 64 percent want to raise taxes on large corporations.

Even 39 percent of Republicans support raising taxes on households making more than $250,000.
Independents favor such a move by 21 percentage points, 59 to 38 percent.

Only 38 percent buy the GOP argument that raising taxes on households earning over $250,000 per year will have a negative impact on the economy. Fifty-eight percent do not.

The Dems can read the polls. To be sure:

“Democrats really have a winning issue here, and we should drive it hard,” said Celinda Lake, the Democratic pollster who helped conduct the bipartisan poll. “We’re in an era now where there’s a lot of cynicism about trickle-down economics.”

Congress and the White House are currently battling over whether to allow the George W. Bush tax cuts — on middle-income and wealthy Americans — to expire at the end of this year, at the same time that massive spending cuts might occur. The so-called “fiscal cliff” could spark a recession just when the economy is beginning to recover.

Republicans could do as they have done over the past two years: ignore such polls and go full speed ahead to please Tea Party members and still powerful talk show radio host. But the party would then continue to take a serious hit among those who aren’t members of their ideological choir — and the November elections indicated there are more of those than in the existing choir.

James Joyner’s take:

This is not surprising, in that it’s consistent with both other polling and human nature. Indeed, it’s rather surprising that only 60% favor raising taxes on those earning over $250,000 when that threshold impacts only 2% of taxpayers.

That two thirds favor taxing large corporations more is to be expected, given the backlash created by the financial crisis and various reports of mega-profitable companies paying zero taxes. While our nominal corporate tax rate is much higher than the norm in the developed world, there are enough loopholes in the system that the effective rate is often quite low. That “large corporations” only nominally pay taxes, passing them on as an expense to consumers, doesn’t mitigate the fact that most Americans perceive them as getting over.

The biggest disconnect in the polling is that, while there’s very little support for cuts in Social Security and Defense—two of our biggest ticket items—there’s overwhelming support for generic spending cuts….


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8 Comments

  1. Maybe those extra tax revenues will be used to keep shoveling money into FNMA and FDMC (over $150 billion so far), then those overpaid employees:
    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs.....30820.html
    can pay “their fair share”.
    Oh, I know, it’s Bush’s fault and the current administration has their hands tied.

  2. This is the title of James Joyner’s piece and reflects human nature.

    “Poll: Americans Support Sacrifice For Others, Not Themselves”

  3. Well, if you look at that results graphic, it says BOTH raise taxes on the upper class AND cut spending. What people want is to do a portion of what EACH party has been advocating. Wait, what is that? :Gasp: Compromise!

    True, most people don’t understand what to cut, and don’t really understand the federal budget at all, but still, they want to fix both sides of the equation.

  4. The last bit of James Joyner’s analysis wasn’t included:

    “The biggest disconnect in the polling is that, while there’s very little support for cuts in Social Security and Defense—two of our biggest ticket items—there’s overwhelming support for generic spending cuts. I suspect that this is simply a function of people liking the idea of smaller government while disliking the reality of smaller government.”

    I think the spending cuts responses reflect the same thing as the tax increase on the rich/corporations responses- OK to raise taxes and cut benefits as long as it doesn’t affect me.

  5. I suspect that this is simply a function of people liking the idea of smaller government while disliking the reality of smaller government.

    Yeah, I’d buy that.

    This is why we should have no deficit spending. A part of every spending bill comes with a tax hike to pay for it. There is a huge disconnect between what we pay and what we get and how much things cost. Adding that link would (hopefully) connect the two.

    I go back to the Afghanistan & Iraq wars: Congress should have voted to go to war AND put a surcharge on everyone’s taxes to pay for it. If we felt it in our wallets, maybe we’d think better about our choices.

  6. Take away their credit card and give drunken sailors, wild kids and the government debit cards.

  7. America’s middle class has already taken enough of a beating thanks. Time for the movers and shakers to show a tiny bit of patriotism for a change. I’m fine with cuts so long as they are reasonable and don’t hurt those who are most vulnerable. Military spending ought to be a prime target for cuts for example. Of course there will always be some who think the elderly should go back into the ranks of poverty like they were before social security, but those are the voices of people who have no capacity for shame.

  8. Unfortunatelly, many of the elderly on social security and medicare are already in the ranks of poverty, thanks in part to the uncontrollable rising cost of healthcare. Medicare only pays for a small percentage of hospitalization. Period. Any other coverage comes out of pocket. So unless someone wants to pay say, a $50,000 bill that medicare pays 50% of, they also need coverage from private insurance, which isn’t cheap. And then there is the drug coverage which they have to buy. and when they reach their limit, they go into the donut hole and pay FULL RETAIL til they reach $4600. Most people who advocate cutting medicare benefits really don’t understand or even care how it works.

    The graph indicates that most people are aware of how things SHOULD work for this fiscal fiasco, but of course the devil is in the details. One thing I would have liked to see is more in favor of the means testing portion, but considering the constant escalation of medical costs, perhaps I can understand the hesitation.

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